Each morning, Bill Scher and Terrance Heath serve up what progressives need to effect change on the kitchen-table issues families face: jobs, health care, green energy, financial reform, affordable education and retirement security.
MORNING MESSAGE: Can’t Have Great Teachers Without Jobs For Teachers
OurFuture.org’s Jeff Bryant: “…just as lawmakers in the White House and Congress were hard at work crafting new legislation mandating strict new ‘accountabilities’ to, supposedly, ensure ‘great teachers,’ there is an equally determined effort afoot in Capital Hill to scuttle any attempt whatsoever to ensure many of our nation’s teachers get to keep their jobs. In the meantime, this dysfunctional DC dialogue is playing out in stark contrast to a very different narrative portrayed in a new report, “Starving America’s Public Schools,” detailing the real crisis … huge cuts enacted by state legislatures across the country are having catastrophic effects on our nation’s teaching force and in turn the education opportunities available to our children and youth.”
GOP To Propose Another Phony “Jobs” Bill
Senate Republicans propose yet another rehash of conservative dogma, call it a “jobs” bill. Politico: “…they’re planning to roll out a jobs plan that amounts to a conservative’s dream agenda: targeting labor and environmental regulations, enacting a balanced-budget amendment to the Constitution, lowering corporate and individual tax rates, encouraging energy production and expanding free trade … They could open themselves up to criticism from Democrats if official budget scorekeepers show that the price tag could drive up the deficit and if economists are dubious on whether it would actually create jobs.”
63% support President’s American Jobs Act in new NBC/WSJ poll.
Three Senate GOPers express interest in Schumer compromise, pairing infrastructure bank with multinational corporate tax holiday. W. Post: “‘It’s worth pursuing — it all would be what’s in the details, but it’s conceivable,’ [Sen. Jeff Sessions] said … Earlier this year … two Senate Republicans — Kay Bailey Hutchison (Tex.) and Lindsey Graham (S.C.) — had co-sponsored Massachusetts Democrat John Kerry’s infrastructure bank bill…”
Senate Dems continue to push millionaires’ tax to fund jobs ideas reports Politico.
25% of millionaires have an effectively lower tax rate than middle class. Politico: “…the non-partisan Congressional Research Service said in a report [that i]nvestment income that is taxed at a preferred rate and the reduced impact of payroll taxes on higher incomes means that 94,500 millionaires pay federal taxes at an effective lower rate than 10.4 million ‘moderate-income taxpayers’ earning less than $100,000 a year.”
Fed may directly tie higher interest rates to economic performance. Bloomberg: “The policy would aim to discourage investors from expecting higher interest rates until economic measures such as inflation or employment reach specified levels, thereby keeping borrowing costs low.”
Cain Tax Plan Taxes The Poor
McClatchy finds “9-9-9″ tax plan from GOP primary frontrunner Herman Cain as “good for the rich, bad for the poor”: “a flat 9 percent income tax and a 9 percent national sales tax would almost certainly mean higher taxes for at least the 30 million U.S. households that now pay no federal taxes. And it almost certainly would mean big tax cuts for the wealthy, who now pay a 35 percent marginal rate on their income above $379,150.”
Asked how 9-9-9 would make food more expensive for the poor, Cain proposes poor by “used goods.” ThinkProgress’ Marie Diamond: “Asked to ‘explain why under your plan all Americans should be paying more for milk, for a loaf of bread, and beer?’ Cain noted that under his plan ‘there is no tax on used goods.’ … Cain failed to explain how this solution would apply to food, which families might have difficulty buying ‘used’ unless they rummage through garbage.”
Conservatives Push To Repeal Wall St. Reform
Conservatives complain Speaker Boehner hasn’t repealed Wall Street reform yet. The Hill: “Republican presidential candidates are ramping up pressure on House GOP leaders to repeal the 2010 Wall Street reform law. … [But some] Republicans on Capitol Hill believe an aggressive push to strike the law from the books would play into the hands of President Obama, congressional Democrats and the ‘Occupy Wall Street’ movement.”
House Dems from CA grow sharply critical of President over foreclosures. The Hill: “In a Wednesday letter to Obama, the lawmakers laid out some concrete steps they say the White House can take immediately to tackle the lingering foreclosure crisis. Among the reforms, they want to grant all homeowners with mortgages backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac the option of refinancing to take advantage of historically low interest rates; to install a mechanism allowing more underwater homeowners to pay down principal balances; and to establish a ‘Homeowner’s Bill of Rights’ making it easier for borrowers to refinance.”
Congress passes trio of trade deals, along with aid for displaced workers. President will sign. W. Post: “A variety of U.S. industries are expected to benefit from the agreements. Producers of beef, dairy, pork and poultry products, chemicals, and plastics are all likely to increase exports to Korea. The banking and financial services industries could also be big winners … Several Democrats and prominent labor unions, however, oppose the deals, arguing that they could help U.S. companies without bringing much benefit to U.S. workers, particularly if increased imports lead to widespread layoffs.”
GOP Rep. Darrell Issa pretends he didn’t support clean energy loan guarantee for constituent. Politico: “House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa said Wednesday he is not a hypocrite for investigating the Energy Department’s loan guarantee program while previously seeking assistance for an auto company in Southern California … ‘They were looking for an answer, because they weren’t getting an answer on were they or weren’t they getting a loan guarantee,’ Issa told POLITICO. ‘We simply encouraged it. It’s an interesting project for the commuter vehicle … and we simply wanted an answer.’ But Issa opened his letter with: ‘I write to express my support of Aptera Motors’s application…’”